VAT Removed from Non-Branded Cooking Oil

The central government has removed a 10-percent Value-Added Tax (VAT) on non-branded cooking oil in a bid to push down its soaring price, which is hurting low-income families, the economy minister said this week.

Cooking oil prices have been rising in Indonesia in line with a dramatic increase in global prices for crude palm oil (CPO) as demand booms around the world. CPO is typically used as a raw ingredient for cooking oil here.

“In order to further stabilize cooking oil prices, the government has issued a policy that will subsidize the value-added tax on palm oil,” Economy Minister Budiono said, speaking late Monday.

China Coal Group Mulls buys in Indonesia: China’s largest coal company is mulling buys in Indonesia and Australia to meet the Asian giant’s roaring demand for energy and reduce rising costs, the Financial Times reported.

China Shenhua Energy chairman Chen Biting said that overseas mines were becoming potentially more competitive because of the rising cost of transporting coal from China’s northwest, the country’s resources heartland.

“If we transport from the west to the east and then to the south, the distance will be a little bit longer than that from Indonesia to Guangdong and the profit would not be so good,” the Financial Times quoted Chen as saying.

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